In reports on the Meet the Press debate between Sen. George Allen and Democratic challenger Jim Webb, the Associated Press and The New York Times noted Tim Russert's questioning of Webb about his position in 1979 that "[t]here is a place for women in the military, but not in combat." However, both failed to mention that Allen also faced questions about his far more recent statements opposing the presence of women in combat.
Numerous print and television outlets uncritically reported President Bush's response to a reporter's question about a letter by former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in which Powell argued that "[t]he world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism." Bush stated: "If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic. I simply can't accept that." In fact, neither the question nor Powell's letter made any such comparison.
On The New York Times' weblog The Caucus, Kate Phillips wrote that "swift-boating became a verb for negative ads" during the 2004 presidential election. However, the group behind the ads, the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, did much more than just run "negative ads" -- they launched a widespread smear campaign against Sen. John Kerry based on lies, factual distortions, and baseless attacks on Kerry's Vietnam War record and personal life.
In their coverage of President Bush's commemoration of 9-11, The New York Times and The Washington Post suggested it was Democrats who undermined efforts to re-create the national sense of unity that initially followed the attacks, even though reports have noted the White House's strategy for extracting political gain from the 9-11 anniversary.
A New York Times article attributed growing criticism over ABC's "docudrama" The Path to 9/11 exclusively to members of the Clinton administration and Democratic officials. In fact, criticism of the film's factually inaccurate and misleading portrayal of the Clinton administration's handling of the terrorist threat is coming from across the political spectrum.
New York Times and Associated Press reports about ABC's miniseries The Path to 9/11 described former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the 9-11 Commission, as a "senior consultant" for the film. But while both articles noted that Kean has defended the miniseries from those who have criticized its reported falsehoods, neither addressed whether Kean has been paid in his role as a consultant and promoter of the film.
A New York Times report suggested that President Bush had willingly spent Labor Day away from political campaigning while visiting a union facility in Maryland. However, The Washington Post reported that two Republican candidates in Maryland, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, had declined to attend the event with Bush.
Numerous media figures have asserted that a recent report purportedly identifying former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage as Robert Novak's original source for Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative prove that Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were not involved in the leak of her identity. However, Armitage's role as Novak's first source is not inconsistent with Rove's and Libby's involvements in the leak -- both were original sources of the information for two other reporters.
New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut asserted that President Bush "did not emphasize signs of progress in Iraq as he had in the past" during an August 30 speech. In fact, Bush repeatedly touted the "amazing progress" on display in Iraq and the "amazing things" occurring there.
In a New York Times article, Jennifer Medina wrote that "it was not clear" what Sen. Daniel Inouye was referring to when he issued a statement saying he "was most disappointed and unhappy when Senator [Joe] Lieberman remarked that the Democratic Party no longer represented the mainstream of America, and that the Democratic Party had lost its values" -- even though Medina had previously reported that Lieberman had pledged to "bring the Democratic Party back ... to the mainstream."
New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut left unchallenged Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's claim -- which is unsupported by recent polls -- that anti-Iraq war Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont is "not mainstream America." Kornblut quoted only Republicans, conservatives, and representatives of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, with no response from the Lamont campaign or Lamont supporters.
Despite several reports that the recently foiled London terrorist plot had no connections to the United States, The New York Times, CNN, and Fox News uncritically repeated Republican assertions that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program played a role in the plot's breakup.
Media outlets have uncritically reported the comments of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who, during interviews, have asserted that U.S. laws on detaining suspected terrorists should be modeled after British laws that allow the United Kingdom to detain a suspected terrorist for up to 28 days without charges. However, none of the media outlets noted the administration's expanded use of material witness warrants to detain people for indefinite periods.